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Property owner convicted for smoke alarm offences in fatal house fire

HAMILTON, ON – A Hamilton Justice of the Peace has delivered a strong message to building owners who violate the Ontario Fire Code and jeopardize the lives of building occupants.

On February 20, 2019, Luciano Brancalion, the registered owner of a single detached residential home located at 70 Niagara Street, Hamilton was convicted after pleading guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice to violating two requirements of the Ontario Fire Code.

Mr. Brancalion was convicted of failing to install smoke alarms in hallways serving sleeping areas and failing to maintain smoke alarms in operating condition. The owner received 14 days in jail on each count, to be served concurrently.

This conviction re-enforces the message that building owners are responsible and will be held accountable in ensuring that there are working smoke alarms on every floor level of their homes including outside of all sleeping areas.

Working smoke alarms save lives. A working smoke alarm will provide you and your family with the earliest warning of a fire in your home and provide you with the time required to safely evacuate your home.

Building owners are encouraged to contact Fire Prevention Division of the Hamilton Fire Department at 905-546-2424 ext. 1380, weekdays between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with any questions or visit www.hamilton.ca/fire.

“This tragic fire had a profound effect on all first responders and this City as a whole. It highlighted the importance of installing and maintaining working smoke alarms in all residences across the City” - Hamilton Fire Chief David Cunliffe

Quick facts

  • At approximately 4:29 a.m. on August 6, 2016, Hamilton firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at 70 Niagara Street, Hamilton.
  • The cause of the fire was unattended cooking in the first floor kitchen that spread to the upper floors of the home.
  • There were 11 occupants in the home at the time of the fire. One occupant escaped uninjured, seven occupants were transported to hospital and tragically three occupants of the home perished in the fire. 
  • As a direct result of this and other tragic fires, the Hamilton Fire Department implemented its Home Fire Safety Education Program in May of 2017. This program involves Hamilton firefighters going door to door talking to residents about home fire safety and checking smoke alarms. To date, Hamilton firefighters have visited 20,031 homes, installed 2,066 smoke alarms and replaced 427 batteries.

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